Two months ago in Virginia, a Navy sailor and bronze star recipient entered a plea agreement in response to charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to reports, Senior Chief Clayton Pressley III stole the personal information of two subordinates and then used that information to secure loans amounting to $24,000.
Such stories are unfortunately becoming more common and they are alarming. While many cases include scams that target private business with hopes of gaining access to tax forms, credit information, medical records, etc., this story is particularly eye-opening because it deals with direct theft from a superior. The workplace holds a lot of personal employee information that is vulnerable to being stolen, but we don't usually worry about our boss stealing it. This reminds us that personal information is vulnerable to foul play from persons both known and unknown.
As this account emphasizes, it is important not only to try to prevent identity theft, but also to be informed on how to properly address the theft once it has already occurred because you may not be able to prevent it from happening at some point in your life. Current technologies, and the degree to which we rely on them daily, continue to offer an increasing number of ways for thieves to gain access to our personal information, whether it be your boss or colleague at work stealing records on file, or a hacker from overseas exploiting a security vulnerability in a third party app you use.
The increase of identity theft is influencing a response from lawmakers. Congress has passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both meant to protect the senstive information of consumers and employees. However, regardless of these laws, it remains important to check your bank accounts regularly to spot foul play
When you are the victim of credit fraud or identity theft, it helps to be informed on the proper steps to take to minimize damage to your credit and financial loss. We can assist you in this process - contact us if you have any questions about identity theft or credit fraud.